Smooth transition a top priority in IE, Spring merger: Iswaran

The merger of IE Singapore and Spring Singapore will kick in next year.
The merger of IE Singapore and Spring Singapore will kick in next year. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The top priority in the merger of IE Singapore and Spring Singapore is ensuring a smooth transition without disruptions to the agencies' ongoing work with companies, said Minister for Trade & Industry (Industry) S Iswaran.

The new agency, Enterprise Singapore, will be able to work more effectively with industry players, with the aim of creating globally competitive Singapore companies with deep capabilities, he told Parliament on Monday (Sept 11).

The merger, announced earlier this month, kicks in next year and will combine IE's expertise in helping companies venture overseas with Spring's skills in developing capacity.

"We will have a stronger hand in the way we're able to work with enterprises and through trade associations and chambers to enable their growth and competitiveness to be strengthened," said Mr Iswaran.

For a merger that results in "one plus one being three, or (at least) more than two", the agency needs to start off on strong footing with a clear mission and able leadership, the minister added.

The agency will work with companies of all sizes from start-ups to large local enterprises to help them grow overseas and build deep capabilities.

The appointment of Mr Png Cheong Boon, Second Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as the chief executive (designate) of Enterprise Singapore was also a deliberate choice, said Mr Iswaran. Mr Png has extensive experience working with companies in his previous roles at Spring Singapore and JTC.

In his speech, Mr Iswaran also said Enterprise Singapore and EDB "will form two critical and complementary government agencies that will help formulate and implement strategies for the development of industry clusters and enterprises".

"Enterprise Singapore will also work closely with EDB to drive collaboration between multinational corporations, innovative start-ups, and enterprises of all sizes," he added.